Interview with author Jess Mountifield


Today, I have author Jess Mountifield with me. We talk about her life and her books. She writes books which in the Adventure genre. She is also publishing a serial novel on her blog! How interesting is that? Continue reading to find out more.

Interview with author Jess Mountifield

Describe your books. What genre would you classify them into?

My first published novel, With Proud Humility is a Historical adventure with romance. I originally put this book in historical romance but most people feel it’s more adventure, it just has a romance. It’s set in the Caribbean in the early 1800’s and is a proper swashbuckler.

I’ve also recently had a young adult fantasy collection of shorts published, Innocent Hearts, which contains two short stories I wrote a while ago. They went down very well with people who read them so I had them polished up and put into ebook format.

My second novel, another historical adventure, Chains of Freedom, is due to be published shortly and is set in a Maori village.

Sherdan’s Prophecy is my third novel and is sci-fi. It’s set about five years in the future. It’s a cross between X-Men and V for Vendetta.

When and why did you begin writing?

I have written most of my life and still remember the first time I was asked to write in school. I didn’t seriously begin writing until almost 5 years ago when a friend asked me why I didn’t write anymore. I realised I didn’t have a  good answer for them.

How has your journey from writing to getting published been?

A long one but a very worthwhile journey. I’ve learnt a lot about writing as well as about myself. It’s not an easy thing to try and do. The hardest thing and the best thing has probably been people’s reactions. Some people have been amazing and I probably wouldn’t have succeeded without them and others have been very disheartening. There are so many stereotypes people have of writers and they can be very judgemental.

Who is you favorite character?

My favorite character by far is the one I’m currently writing about, Sherdan. He’s my first bad boy that I really want people to love. I’ve been blogging the first few chapters of his book Sherdan’s Prophecy and have blogged the background information for anyone curious about the way I work.

Ritesh: You can read the posts by Jess on Sherdan’s Prophecy here.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

Research can often be the biggest challenge. I’m really rather fussy about what I do and don’t include in books. If I can’t find when something was invented or exactly how something works I agonise for ages over whether to include it and make it up. I think I’m a little too worried some expert in that particular field will disapprove if I get it wrong.

I also have found the emotional strain of Sherdan’s Prophecy very difficult. It’s much darker than my normal works and I’ve poured a lot of emotion into some of the chapters.

Who designed the covers of the books?

My uncle-in-law Keith Mountifield designed all my book covers. He does a wonderful job of getting the garbled ideas out of my head and turning them into reality. Often making them better than I could have imagined in the process. He’s such a breeze to work with as well, doesn’t mind that I’m really quite fussy but often can’t say why I don’t like something.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?

I think I’d change my first ebook a little, With Proud Humility. It’s not anything in particular but I know I am a better writer now and although people say it is a very good book for my first book they can still tell that it was my first book. One day I think I shall re-edit a lot of it and see if I can bring it up to the standard of my later work.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Was there somewhere in the books you felt stuck?

I often feel stuck and disheartened about a story when i get just past 2/3rds of the way through. something about that point when everything is going wrong and I’ve been writing the book for a while seems to make it harder to write. I usually get over that difficulty once I’ve got the few ending scenes straight in my head but sometimes it can take a month or two of hard slogging to get to that point.

What are your current projects?

Currently I’ve got my second historical adventure book in the editing phase, Chains of Freedom so that one should be out sometime soon. Hopefully late Spring. Also as I mentioned above I’m currently writing Sherdan’s Prophecy and not too far from the end now. I’m polishing that one up as I go, however, so it can be blogged regularly.

What book are you reading now? Which are your all-time favourite authors / books?

At the moment I’m reading The Count of Monte Cristo. I wanted to read some of the old classics and it’s one of those films I’ve never managed to find time to watch either.

My favourite authors are Jane Austen, Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and Stephen King. I love Usen’s wit and the fact I get more out of her books each time I read them as well as a greater insight into her. She occasionally breaks the wall between reader and author and I love that she was happy to do that.

Tolkien and Lewis both inspire me so much and have been the delight of many long conversations with friends.

King is someone who I don’t read too much anymore as I find a lot of his works too dark but there are a few, particularly the stand, which have some ideas on good and evil I find really interesting.

Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you, something you could not read just about anywhere.

  1. I’ve designed and named a whole superhero, just for fun. Maybe one day I’ll find a graphic comic artist and write some stories about her.
  2. I’m actually aquaphobic despite going out sailing and writing about being on boats and other vessels. I like to confront my fears so I’ve been doing activities that make me challenge how I feel.
  3. I love acting but don’t really get the chance to do much around my writing. I’ve often considered acting in my own scripts but find the perceived arrogance too much of a negative. Maybe I’ll do a bit part some time.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?

Mostly thank you for reading this far and I hope you enjoyed it. I wouldn’t be anywhere in this writing world without readers.

Quick-fire questions

ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
Ebooks, I love the kindle.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs, but I have a cat as they are less maintenance.

Coffee or tea?
Neither. I only drink hot chocolate if I want a hot drink.

Favorite food?
Pie. I absolutely love pie. can’t get enough of it.

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
Chocolate every time.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
My writing pads, sketch pad, torch and super hero handbook. All 4 regularly come in handy. I’m the sporadic adventurer type.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I find afternoons are best. It takes a while to get my brain going in the morning but I can write pretty much anywhere there’s room for me to curl up with pad and pen.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you any why?
Jane Austen as I think her wit and outlook on life would provide amusement for ages. Benedict Cumberbatch as I could talk to him about Sherlock for ages and ages and finally Alan Rickman, there is just something about his voice I love and I figure there’d be a lot of talking if I was stranded on a desert island.

List 3 of your all-time favourite movies?
My favourite movies are Pretty Woman, it’s one of those perfect fairytale films. Lord of the Rings for the fantasy side of things. They are so inspiring and Peter Jackson did a very good job. My third is Beauty and the Beast. It’s one of those films that is so interesting on a psychology level, even if it wasn’t entirely meant.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I recently watched the latest episode in the BBC Sherlock tv series and really enjoyed that. I devoured the Sherlock books a while ago and have been really enjoying the movies and tv versions. The BBC modern version that’s been shown this month is my favourite so far. I really like the way that guy thinks, even if he can be a little rude.

Jess was born in the quaint village of Woodbridge in the Uk, has spent some of her childhood in the States and now resides in the beautiful Roman city of Bath. She lives with her husband Phil and her very dapsy cat, Pleaides. Jess can often be found either in a cafe, grinning behind a large mug of hot chocolate, at her desk, getting annoyed with her cat for sitting on her keyboard, or on her comfy corner sofa with friends, enjoying her high definition tv and surround sound system.

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You can find Jess here:

About Jess’ Books

With Proud Humility

Marie’s mother died protecting something, but what? Determined to find answers, Marie is prepared to go to any length to locate her mother’s legacy, even to pursue the man responsible for her death – Black Vane. No price is too dear to Marie, who gambles everything on a marriage of convenience to a ship’s captain she knows she can’t trust, but who may be one ally she needs. This is a historic story of romance and adventure, set on the Caribbean seas of the early 1800’s, a tale of betrayal and sacrifice in pursuit of an unknown goal.

Buy on Amazon:    Paperback    |    Kindle

Innocent Hearts

When Bronwen’s parents die she has to leave her home in the wilderness and try to find the elf city her mother told her about, but with little food and no experience in the wild she risks her life just trying.
Liza doesn’t fit into the Nepharil society, she can’t fly, something her father reminds her of daily.
She hasn’t given up trying but her time is running out and her father is impatient to have her married and out of his hands.
This ebook has two short stories set in the same fantasy world. Approx 13,000 words or 45 pages in total.

Buy on Amazon:    Kindle

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2 responses to “Interview with author Jess Mountifield

  1. *clapping* AWESOME post! LOVE it, and now am going to check out her first book because that second one set the Maori village has me intrigued. I read a book, the title of which is escaping me at the moment, about a girl growing up in New Zeland that was OUT OF THIS WORLD! I ended up takin class that did a broad spectrum world wide study of native cultural history and societies that still thrive today. PLUS pirates? HEH

    ANYWAY awesome post!

  2. Thanks Kriss! I too think it could be an interesting book. Time, I need 48 hours a day for a few days to catch up on all my reading!

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